gallery Teflon, Cancer, and Dupont

Teflon, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) one of many industrial chemicals linked to damaging health effects. As found on Reuters, “Chemical maker DuPont (DD.N) will face 40 trials a year starting April 2017 involving plaintiffs who say they developed cancer from a toxic chemical used to make Teflon that leaked from one of the company’s plants in West Virginia.”

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The Toxic Truth About A New Generation Of Nonstick And Waterproof Chemicals

From the EWG, Environmental Working Group:  Ten Years After Teflon Scandal, Your Family’s Health Remains at Risk

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015

WASHINGTON – Ten years ago, DuPont was forced to phase out a key chemical in making Teflon, after revelations that for nearly 45 years the company covered up evidence of its health hazards, including cancer and birth defects. But a new EWG investigation finds that the chemicals pushed by DuPont and other companies to replace the Teflon chemical and similar perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs – already in wide use in food wrappers and outdoor clothing – may not be much – if at all – safer.

EWG analysts examine in detail the poisoned legacy of DuPont and the toxic truth about the Teflon chemical, known as C8 or PFOA, and the secrecy surrounding the safety of replacement chemicals.

Click here to read the full report: Poisoned Legacy – Ten Years Later, Chemical Safety and Justice for DuPont’s Teflon Victims Remain Elusive.



From the American Cancer Society:

Teflon and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): What are these substances? Where are they found? Teflon® is a brand name for a man-made chemical known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). It has been in commercial use since the 1940s. It has a wide variety of applications because it is extremely stable (it doesn’t react with other chemicals) and can provide an almost frictionless surface. Most people are familiar with it as a non-stick coating surface for pans and other cookware. It is also used in many other products, such as fabric protectors.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, is another man-made chemical. It is used in the process of making Teflon and similar chemicals (known as fluorotelomers), although it is burned off during the process and is not present in significant amounts in the final products.


PFOA has the potential to be more of a health concern because it can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time. Studies have found that it is present at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood in the United States. Higher levels have been found in the blood of community residents where local water supplies have been contaminated by PFOA. People exposed to PFOA in the workplace can have levels many thousands of times higher.

PFOA and some similar compounds can be found at low levels in some foods, drinking water, and in household dust. Although PFOA levels in drinking water are usually low, they can be higher in certain areas. For example, an area near a chemical plant in West Virginia had higher levels of PFOA in its water due to contamination. People can also be exposed to PFOA from ski wax and fabrics and carpeting that have been treated to be stain resistant. Non-stick cookware is not a significant source of exposure.

Studies in the lab

Studies in lab animals have found exposure to PFOA increases the risk of certain tumors of the liver, testicles, mammary glands, and pancreas in these animals. In general, well-conducted studies in animals do a good job of predicting which exposures cause cancer in people. But for PFOA, there are clear differences in how the bodies of lab animals and humans handle this chemical. Because of these differences, it isn’t clear that the way this chemical causes cancers in animals would also occur in humans.

Studies in humans

Studies in humans have found that people with workplace exposure to PFOA have higher risks of bladder and kidney cancers.–pfoa